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Residents of a small section of Gainesville, Fla. will get a gigabit network thanks to the GigU project that wants to deliver fiber to the home to areas around U.S. colleges and universities. GRUCom, a multi-service utility owned by the City of Gainesville, said Monday it would work with the GigU people and the University of Florida to build a network in an area known as Innovation Square. The project is an interesting one because it shows the promise and the limitations of what the GigU guys are trying to accomplish.
Residents and business in a roughly 12-block area will get the possibility of gigabit networks and prices for the service will start at $99 for a 50 Mbps connection. Those wanting more can contact GRU for personalized pricing plans. The university will offer labs and students faster connections on campus, but that gigabit connection isn’t going to be in most people’s price range. However, for a limited area the infrastructure will be there for when the costs of a gig drop.
And that is the promise of building out these networks. Despite the small area, letting colleges get on superfast networks without worrying about capacity constraints mean that the next Facebook or Skype could come out of a GigU supported dorm room. So yes, while the current connectivity is limited in availability and pricey, it also could prime the pump for new businesses and the next generation demand for broadband.